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It is no secret that developing and testing new medicines is notoriously time-consuming and costly, with this reflected in the price of the resulting products. Pharmaceutical companies might have deep pockets, but the process of bringing new medication to market is arguably still not as efficient as it might be. With the intersection of long-established industries and blockchain set to grow substantially in the foreseeable future, the pharmaceutical industry is inevitably becoming involved. Its reliance on research, high technology, and innovation make it one of the more progressive business sectors, so it is only natural that the industry would wish to decentralise and optimise by leveraging blockchain technology.
Malta/UK-based ClinTex operates in the pharmaceutical industry as a service provider. The company hopes to achieve its goals by using blockchain technology to revolutionise the way clinical trials are conducted. More specifically, it aims to ‘enhance clinical trial processes by providing tools to optimise operational efficiency, clinical data quality, and medical review.’
ClinTex describes its CTi (Clinical Trials Intelligence) product as a ‘blockchain-powered data management platform for the clinical trials industry.’ CTi is essentially a decentralised database of clinical data, with the facility to host Dapps (decentralised apps). Seven separate Dapps will handle the management and optimization of the key pain points during clinical trials. ClinTex’s platform makes use of smart contracts running on a combination of both their private consortium blockchain and the Ethereum blockchain.
Research shows that it costs an eye-watering $2.5 billion to bring a new medicine to market, in an industry now worth $350 billion. 80% of clinical trials overshoot their projected release dates by 10.8 months on average, resulting in lost revenue of almost $8 million for each day a drug is delayed and drastically increasing the cost of new medicine.
ClinTex claims to have the solution in making decentralised machine learning accessible for clinical trials. It says this will allow users to make accurate predictions from data, without having prior expertise in optimising machine learning models – a first in the industry. CTi’s predictive analytics should flag up and prevent costly overruns, thereby reducing costs and the time needed to bring new medicines to market. These savings can be passed on to patients in the form of cheaper medicines, improving health and increasing longevity.
The quality and integrity of clinical data need to be verified by the FDA and other regulatory bodies, therefore a pharmaceutical company must record any changes to the data. A blockchain ledger does just that and so is ideal for this purpose. The developers of CTi claim that just as blockchain will facilitate the creation of a secure, decentralized database of clinical information, CTi’s machine learning algorithms will improve over time, providing an increasingly powerful predictive tool that will revolutionise clinical research.
The token sale for CLX, the native currency for CinTex’s CTi platform, is scheduled to take place in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The pharmaceutical industry is a major global player, thereby presenting massive opportunities for decentralized technologies. Given the sheer number and cost of clinical trials, coupled with increasing demands from individual consumers and organizations for more affordable medicines, companies such as ClinTex could stand to reap considerable rewards by leveraging blockchain technology to improve current research methods.
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